Qatar’s Labour “Reforms”: New Labels on Old Laws
The new law retains the exit permit system which allows employers to keep workers in Qatar against their will for up to five years, and to stop workers from changing jobs during their contract. It also now allows employers to keep workers’ passports, which was previously illegal although rarely if ever enforced. Workers are still banned from forming unions and from collective bargaining, and in the absence of a minimum wage, they are paid according to their country of origin rather than the actual job they do.
Sharan Burrow, ITUC General Secretary, said: “Qatar has re-named the appalling kafala system, but the fact is that migrant workers will remain bonded to their employers."